Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif that terror attacks against India should stop so that the two countries can talk and their “voices” can be heard, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Wednesday, a day after she accompanied Modi to the meeting with Sharif.
Swaraj, who took charge on Wednesday, said that Modi had emphasised that any talks between the two countries to improve ties will be “effective and successful” only when terror activities against India end.
“We told Pakistan that we want good relations with it. For but for good relations, the talks can be effective and successful only if terror activities (against India) stop. The voice of talks gets lost in the sound of bomb blasts. That is why bomb blasts should stop so that we can talk and our voices can be heard. Talks will get subdued in the din of bomb blasts. He (Modi) conveyed it to Sharif in these many words,” the 62-year-old Swaraj said outside South Block.
She said India asked Pakistan to ensure speedy trial in the 26/11 terror case being held in Pakistan. The Pakistani side said they were working on it.
Being the first woman foreign minister as she holds the charge independently — Indira Gandhi held the foreign minister’s portfolio when she was PM — Swaraj may be new to the job but shares a rapport with all world leaders who have visited India since 2010.
As the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, she has called on all the visiting foreign leaders on state visits to India in the past four-and-half years.
Officials said her connect with leaders — US President Barack Obama, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japan PM Shinzo Abe and British PM David Cameron among others — will help her in her new role.
That was evident from her response, when she was asked about her priorities. “My priority would be to showcase India’s strengths to the world and improve relations with neighbouring countries, strategic partners, Africa, ASEAN member countries, Europe, Central Asian Republics.”
During the talks on Tuesday with SAARC leaders, she said the SAARC leaders felt that Modi had “out-of-the-box” ideas. She said the talks Modi had with SAARC leaders, who had come to attend his swearing-in ceremony, were successful.